Sunday, July 26, 2009

Spoiling from Grandma and Grandpa

Most of June was spent in Thatcher at my parent's house. After a day or two on my own in Tucson, I was ready to go back. They really spoiled us! The boys had a blast swimming in their pool every day and it was an hourly ritual to check the water temperature to make sure they waited until it was just right. I can't even begin to count the UNO hands that Isaac and Grandma played and they spent an equal amount of hours in the office playing Webkinz together. Carter loved following Grandpa around outside and being his big helper and Ashlyn was willing to sneak a book into Grandma whenever she got a chance, not to mention the fun time she had with their dog, Casey. Isaac even lost his second front tooth just a few days after his first one. This one he decided to yank out himself.

Poor Eric didn't get to enjoy as much time because he was back and forth to Tucson almost everyday trying to find our house, getting everything taken care of, and getting things set up for school. He even had to miss our trip to the lake which was a big bummer. The rest of us had fun! My brother Steven, his son Tillman, and my nephew Chase met up with us at Lake Roosevelt where we spent a few hours out on the boat.


Ashlyn enjoying her favorite part of the ride.

Chase and Isaac out on the tube.

Grandpa and an enthused Ashlyn

Carter driving the boat. Good thing Grandpas hand was still on it!

Carter in the lake with Grandma. MAJOR accomplishment! When we first got to Thatcher we had to do some serious convincing to get him to go in their pool. He finally has learned to trust his life jacket and after giving himself several pep talks (it was pretty cute to watch) he finally made the plunge.

Chase, Carter, and Isaac on the tube. Even more of a phenomenal accomplishment than getting in the lake. Carter was a VERY brave boy and was quite proud of himself. So was I!

Isaac looking handsome. Isn't it beautiful at the lake?

Ashlyn finally sacked out. What more comfortable place could there be than on Grandma's lap with Casey close by?

The boys were long overdue on haircuts, but I kept putting it off because it's such a dreaded project. Isaac somewhat willingly submitted, but Carter was pretty set against it - as he is every time - hence the dread. Grandpa came to the rescue and Carter happily got in the chair because Grandpa was going to cut his hair and "not a girl!" If only I had known that was the problem....

Carter started to feel bad that Eric was gone so much and decided he wanted to make him a present. My idea of drawing him a picture wasn't good enough, so he swindled Grandpa into helping him make a rubberband gun. He came up with the idea all on his own and even drew up the plans on the clipboard. You can't see them because they're in pencil, but they're there. Grandpa was a good sport and went along.

Carter sat up on the work table the whole time with his clipboard and checked things off as they were completed. He makes a great supervisor!

Isaac realized that Carter had a great thing going, so he talked Grandpa into helping him make a boat for Eric.

They painted them and everything. Here is the boat mostly done. Grandma found Isaac some fabric for the sail and helped him attach it.

Carter and the rubberband gun.

The next morning Grandma got out some boxes and wrapping paper so that they could make their gifts official. I just told them to hide it behind their backs!

Ashlyn decided she needed to make something for Daddy, too.
As much as I had wanted to move right into my own house, I am really thankful for the time we got to spend with Grandma and Grandpa. My kids, especially Ashlyn, haven't known them very well because we've always been away from Arizona. It was wonderful to see them bond with their grandparents and develop a relationship with them. I am blessed with great parents! Thanks again for all of the spoiling - especially for me! Love you!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Fun in Flag

After spending some time in Mesa, we headed on up to Flagstaff to be entertained by Stacie and Mark. Eric, Cari, and Garrett had never been to the lava tubes, so we headed there first thing. The lava tube is a big cave somehow formed by lave (google it!). Here is our party at the beginning of the expedition...

....and here we are at the end of the tube.

I love looking at the walls of the cave and at the different rocks. It's pitch black in there and a flashlight is a must and you'll still probably trip a few times, but it's worth it. There used to be several branches to explore, but there were too many emergencies, so they dynamited it to one way in - one way out. It's also a great way to beat the heat. Always cool. You have to watch out for ice a time or two, but it's really not bad.

Ashlyn and Hallie (6 months older) had a great time playing together. Their last meeting a year ago wasn't as fun, so we were glad they had such a great time. Pretty much the only squabbles were over who got the pink plate and cup.

Isaac lost one of his front teeth while we were there. Chase (11) did the honors of yanking it out. I was willing, but I guess it's cooler to have your cousin do it.

We spent a couple of afternoons at Bear Paw, a great neighborhood swimming pool that the kids loved - except for Ashlyn, who we forced in with Eric for a few tortuous minutes.

Our biggest adventure was our hike with Stacie and Mark. Jordynn was so nice to watch all of the kids for us so that we could go out for a date. We were planning on walking around "Fat Man's Loop," going to lunch, and being back in a couple of hours. Once we started, Eric and I got ambitious, and Stacie and Mark were eager to come along, so we ended up hiking to the top of Mt. Eldon, taking the long way down (still forgiven, Stacie), grabbing lunch, and making it home 6-7 hrs. later. Most of the hike was really enjoyable, but got quite a bit harder toward the top. It was a tough decision as to where we were going to stop. The nice view almost at the top or all the way to the lookout tower. We were already so far, we decided to finish at the lookout tower and it was totally worth it. The view was spectacular and we would have missed it had we stopped. Eric has pictures on his camera, but I don't know how to get them on the computer.
Poor Stacie had several more things planned, (she's great at entertaining), but I was happy with a little relaxing in between and letting the kids play. Can't wait until we come again. Thanks for a wonderful time!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

A Taste of June

For the month of June, we wandered around Arizona being loved and entertained by our family. We spent a few days in Mesa where we were able to see all the family for the Moore sealing and Lucy's blessing. While there, Cody and I got crazy one morning and went and hiked Camelback Mountain. It's amazing how fast you get out of shape, but we got up the mountain faster than he and Cari did, so I was satisfied! :) It has inspired the inner hiker in me and I'm ready to conquer any mountain - so long as you don't put a time limit on me! It was a lot of fun spending the extra time with my bro, too. On our way out of Mesa to Flagstaff, Cody took us by DPS headquarters in Phoenix so that he could show the boys his S.W.A.T. equipment. It was a big hit, as I knew it would be. While visiting Cody, he was able to manipulate Carter any way he needed to just by offering him handcuffs to play with.

They have two armored vehicles, the Bear and the Bear Cat. This is the boys in the turret of the Bear Cat, the smaller one.

Cody took us inside both armored vehicles and also a survelliance/mission vehicle (Sorry, Cody, I can't remember the name of it!)
This one is the Bear. It's quite a bit bigger than the other one. Carter and Isaac weren't as quick to get on top as they were before, but of course they ultimately had to. (I spared the pictures because they look identical to the Bear Cat ones).

We had plenty of fun inside the office, too. They have way to many dangerous things laying around. Most of them "dead," but not all...

Anyone want to mess with this tough girl?

Watch out!

Eric couldn't be left out of all the fun!
Thank you, Cody, for taking the time to take us there. It was great!

Our time in Mesa is always relaxing and enjoyable. While we were there we were also able to go up and see our med friends', David and Amanda Galloway and Santino and Polly Cervantes, and their new homes. It helped a little bit with Texas home sickness. It's great that we all moved in somewhat of a cluster.
Now you have to anxiously await to hear about our wonderful time in Flagstaff....Nail biter! :)

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Rejoicing over Spilt Milk

Okay, so rejoicing might be a little...or a lot...of an exaggeration, but I do have a whole new perspective of it. For the last several years, spilt milk was a huge ordeal, including counting to ten, soaking it out of the carpet, cleaning it the best I could - thinking I got it all this time, smelling the horrible rotten milk smell, and ultimately finding a steam cleaner to resolve the problem. It got to be so frequent that we had to invest in our own cleaner and it was well worth it. Why most apartments have carpet in their dining rooms I will never know. But now, spilt milk is a completely different experience. Now I only have to count to seven, then I grab a rag, wipe it up, and I'm done with it. One of the many joys of my new home. A few others are -
- my own four walls
- banging on my walls at whatever time, day or night, that I want to
- having my own private backyard
- sending the kids out in the backyard!
- grapefruits from my grapefruit tree
- pulling into my garage
- filling half of my garage with storage that I have no idea what to do with!
- not hiking a mile to take the garbage out
- money spent is an investment for my personal enjoyment and not for the gain of an apartment complex
- pulling out plants I don't like and putting in ones that I do (still to come - but I have the plans and am already loving it!)
- a shorter address with no apartment number attached

The list goes on, but you get the idea! There are a few unpleasant things about homeownership, but I'm enjoying the good too much to stress over the not so good. The biggest ones that have gotten me are watching in horror as my four year old rides the garage door all the way to the top (Carter has been dead set on giving me a heart attack since we got here) and not having my best friends as my neighbors. Such is life!

We're loving our new home and I promise to post pictures of it soon. I also have a TON of other pictures, so when I finally get them off of the camera, watch out!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Welcome to Arizona

One of the things about Tucson, is that the beauty of the desert lies in your own front yard. I have my own love and appreciation for the desert, but I prefer it in places other than the front of my house. I think Ashlyn now does, too. We have a prickly pear cactus (sorry, but it's at the top of the list of things to go) by our driveway that was way to tempting to her this evening. Eric told her not to touch it, but of course, she just couldn't resist. Prickly pears have these tiny, hairlike prickles that you can barely see and sting really bad. When she came in the house, she had hundreds in the tips of her fingers, her hands, her arm, her back (not sure how that one happened) and her leg. I got out as much as I could with tweezers, which in turn afflicted me with a few, and then tried to get the remaining out with duct tape. She went to bed with both arms and a leg straight up in the air and she refuses to put them down. I feel so sorry for her, but can't think of anything else to do. I tried the Epson salt soak on my own and it was less than helpful. Those are just about all the tips the internet had to offer. Hopefully the rest will go away on their own soon. At least she'll never touch the cactus again.... Welcome to Arizona!

Friday, July 3, 2009

Sigh.... :)

I slept in my OWN house last night. Boxes or no, it felt GREAT!